Creator's Diary 03: Background and Motivation
Our disposable lifestyle has a huge impact on Earth. In 2016 we produced 78 million tonnes of plastic out of which only 5% were effectively recycled. “There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050”, says the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in their New Plastics Economy report (2016).
I feel it’s a pity the current disposable lifestyle generates so much plastic trash and most of it - sometimes only after 15 minutes of usage - ends up in landfills or in the ocean for 450 to 5000 years. I cannot imagine how the world will be in 2050 if there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
As an upcycling designer, I am passionate about making things by hand, especially combining handicraft techniques with wasted materials. I’ve been selling my upcycled plastic bottle jewelry in various Helsinki design shops for 4 years, including Ateneum and Design Museum. People have shown a lot of interest in my work, especially women and children. Many are surprised that trash could be transformed into such premium products. People have asked me several times where could they learn upcycling from. I tried to search in the book market for tutorial books about upcycling, but unfortunately, there are not many books emphasizing the responsible use of materials, not to mention using plastic trash.
So I decided to fill this gap, to combine my passion of upcycling with enviroment education. I will create a handbook about recycling/upcycling our everyday plastic trash. The book will include 50 DIY projects with step-by-step photos and text instructions. With the clear instructions and requiring only common tools (household plastic trash, scissors, knives, glue, candles, etc), it is easy for beginners to learn. The final result is surprising: it will be hard to believe the trash has been transformed into such beautiful, practical and durable objects.
My dream is to prevent Ellen MacArthur’s prediction from coming true so there will always be more fish than plastic in the ocean. However this project is too small to prevent it from happening, so I set up more realistic goals: